Each of this weekend's 11 festivals can be done in a day. Here's a quick overview:
Help the folks of Niota, Tenn., save their historic town depot with a trip to the first Fried Green Tomato Festival on Saturday.
According to Frances Power, fundraising chairman, the 1854 depot is the oldest standing depot in Tennessee. It was used by Confederate and Union forces during the Civil War.
The fun starts tonight at 8 with a movie in the park. The big event is Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., around the depot, 201 E. Main St. There will be a car show, beauty contest, crafters, historic tours, children's area and green-tomato frying contest. But what's really unique is that every food vendor must prepare some type of green-tomato dish.
Niota is about an hour's drive up I-75 between Athens and Sweetwater.
The biggest craft show
Without a doubt, Yellow Daisy Festival at Stone Mountain is a craft lover's heaven. There are more than 400 vendors' booths to browse spread across the park grounds.
Two tips to remember: If you plan to do a lot of shopping, bring something on wheels to haul your purchases, such as an upright mesh cart. Also, Yellow Daisy involves a tremendous amount of walking, so parents might want to think twice about taking along young children.
Most bang for your buck
Three large events are held simultaneously in Loudon, Tenn.. All are within walking distance of each other.
Today, the arts and crafts festival and 29th annual Smoky Mountain Fiddlers Convention opens at 6 p.m. at Legion Field. One $15 tickets allows admission to both.
Saturday, the crafts show and bluegrass competition will continue at Legion Field, in addition to the opening of Memories on Mulberry Antique Show, which is just a few blocks away on the Loudon courthouse lawn from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A $10 ticket gets the holder into all three events. The antique show is free.
To get there, take I-75 to Exit 72, then follow the signs to downtown Loudon.
THIS WEEKEND'S FESTIVALS
* Fried Green Tomato Festival: Niota Train Depot, 201 E. Main St., Niota, Tenn., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday; free admission, $5 pancake breakfast at 6:30 a.m. Saturday. 423-887-5297.
* Memories on Mulberry Antique Show: Highway 11, Loudon, Tenn., courthouse lawn, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; free; held in conjunction with annual Smoky Mountain Fiddlers Convention at Legion Field in Loudon. 865-458-9020.
* Mountaineer Days Festival: Depot Street in downtown Tracy City, Tenn., 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday; $2 ages 11 and up. 931-592-8558.
* Mountaineer Folk Festival: Fall Creek Falls Nature Center, Pikeville, Tenn., 7-10 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday (all times Central); free. 800-250-8611.
* Pine Log Arts and Crafts Fair: Pine Log United Methodist church campground, Rydal, Ga., I-75 Exit 293, Highway 411 north eight miles to Pine Log UMC; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday; $3 ages 13 and up. 770-607-5350.
* Plein Aire Festival: Blue Ridge, Ga., 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday-Sunday, art competition and showcase sponsored by Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association. 706-632-2144.
* Smoky Mountain Arts and Crafts Festival: Loudon, Tenn., Legion Field, Highway 11, held in conjunction with Smoky Mountain Fiddlers Convention, gates open 6 p.m. Friday; $15 ages 13 and up. 865-988-0967.
* Spring City Arts and Crafts Fair: Depot lawn, Front Street, Spring City, Tenn., 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday; free. springcitychamberofcommerce.com.
* Tennessee State Fair: Tennessee State Fairgrounds, 500 Wedgewood Ave., Nashville, today through Sept. 18, 5-10 p.m. opening day, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturdays, noon-10 p.m. Sundays, 5-10 p.m. Monday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Tuesday, 5-10 p.m. Wednesday-Friday (all times Central). Gate admission $8 adults ages 13-54, $5 children 3-12 and senior adults ages 55 or older. Wristbands with gate and unlimited midway rides are $25 weekdays, $30 Saturdays and Sundays. Motor Sports Weekend, today and Saturday, features auto race and demolition derby. www.tnstatefair.org.
* White Oak Crafts Fair: 22nd annual event offers a juried array of handcrafted works displayed along the banks of the East Fork Stones River near the Arts Center of Cannon County, 1424 John Bragg Highway, just west of Woodbury, Tenn., 20 minutes from Manchester, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. CDT Saturday and Sunday; free with $2 supervised parking donation. 800-235-9073 or www.artscenterofcc.com.
* Yellow Daisy Festival: Stone Mountain Park, Atlanta, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Saturday; $10 per vehicle, more than 400 craftsmen. festivals.stonemountainpark.com.
Susan Palmer Pierce is a reporter and columnist in the Life department. She began her journalism career as a summer employee 1972 for the News Free Press, typing bridal announcements and photo captions. She became a full-time employee in 1980, working her way up to feature writer, then special sections editor, then Lifestyle editor in 1995 until the merge of the NFP and Times in 1999. She was honored with the 2007 Chattanooga Woman of ...